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To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to

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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 17:00
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Hello Everyone!

Let's take a closer look at this question, one issue at a time, and narrow it down to the correct answer! First, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower
(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly
(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly
(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower
(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower

After a quick glance over the options, there are a few places we can focus on:

1. most rapidly traveling / travel most rapidly / traveling most rapidly / most rapidly travel
2. slower / more slowly
3. comma vs. no comma before "and"


Since #1 on our list seems a bit complicated, let's start with #2 on our list because it should eliminate 2-3 options quickly. This is an issue of parallelism, so let's make sure the two adverbs are written using the same structure:

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower
(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly
(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly
(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower
(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower

We can eliminate options A, D, & E because they don't use parallel structure when describing the two speeds a seismometer travels in different conditions.

Now that we have it narrowed down to only 2 options, let's see if we can find any other problems to eliminate one of these options, leaving us with the correct choice:

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

This is INCORRECT for two reasons. First, using the comma + which creates a modifier that must refer back to the nearest preceding noun. In this case, that noun is "interior," which isn't what's traveling - the seismometer is! Second, there shouldn't be a comma before the "and" here. It's connecting two dependent clauses together, so it doesn't need a comma. We only use ",and" when connecting two independent clauses or when introducing the last item in a list. Since this is neither of those instances, it's not necessary.

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

This is CORRECT! It's clear that the phrase that begins with "traveling" is referring back to the seismometer, it uses parallel structure (rapidly/slowly), and it doesn't have that extra comma before "and."


There you have it - option C is the correct choice!


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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 07:38
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teaser,

"cold, dense" are coordinate adjectives that do not require conjunction between them.

Please google 'coordinate adjectives" and get the correct picture.

About B:

Quote:
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly through hotter rocks.


The simple way to eliminate choice B is for the wrong reference of the pronoun 'which". Earth's interior cannot travel and therefore the pronoun's placement next to 'interior' is a lethal flaw. As we may see, the relative pronoun cannot jump over the verb 'originate' and refer to the waves.

One point in C about the modification of the present participle preceded by a comma should be kept in mind. If there are two clauses before the comma +verbing modifier, we must be always being concerned about the subject and the action of the immediate previous clause and not the farther clause. It would not matter whether the previous clause is a relative clause or a subordinate clause. In the given context, 'geologists', the subject of the main clause, has no locus standi to be in contention with 'waves'.

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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 08:05
souvik101990 wrote:
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower


IMO C

In this scientists are using a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate and which region does it traverse through
With this in mind

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower
Parallelism is lost, most rapidly, it should be slowly

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly
Ambiguous referent of which ->Out

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly
Correct Answer

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower
Parallelism is lost, most rapidly, it should be slowly

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower ->Out
and that, IMO means that there are two waves which are moving
one which originated and the one which travel
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 17:18
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.


(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower (most rapidly is not parallel with slower)

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly (,Which modifying interior. Q. Can interior travel most rapidly? (wrong)

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly ( Sub+Verb,...., Verb+ing)--> Cause and effect. Correctly use. Correct answer.

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower (most rapidly is not parallel with slower)

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower(most rapidly is not parallel with slower)
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2019, 07:45
To map Earth`s interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that "originate" in the earth`s crust and ricochet around its interior???"traveling" most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly.

Why C option with modifier Traveling with -ing but the previous verb "originate" doesn't use -ing modifier as the original article - (refer to the second sentence) http://discovermagazine.com/1996/nov/ho ... dspotsb935?
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New post 11 Jun 2019, 22:35
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.


(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower

This is a parallelism concept question, So Correct answer is most rapidly .....................more slowly

So eliminate A,D,E

Between B and C ,

B say Interior, which travel most rapidly: It means interior which is traveling which is wrong. So correct answer is C.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2019, 00:57
sayantanc2k wrote:
rukna wrote:
I was stuck b/w C and E.

In C, I thought that there is ambiguity on who is travelling => the waves or geologists. So, I thought that was wrong.
Can someone explain why is this right then.


A present participle modifier refers to the subject of the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause.

In this case the clause " that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior" is the preceding clause, and hence the present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." refers to the subject "that" of the previous clause; the pronoun "that" here is used to replace "waves".

Consider that the entire present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." is nested within the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks."

You are right in thinking that there could be a bit of ambiguity since the present participle clause "travelling...." could refer to "Geologists", if one considers that it is outside the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks." However in that case we would have to choose E as the correct answer, which has a more severe problem as follows:

E is wrong because two clauses are joined just with "and" not with comma + "and".

Wrong: I play and I sing
Right: I play, and I sing
Right: I play and sing.

Similarly,
Wrong: that originate and ricochet and that travel
Right: that originate and ricochet, and that travel
Right: that originate, ricochet and travel

Moreover option E does not depict the bearing between ricocheting and travelling and considers them as two different activities.



I find your explanations very insightful. Your command of the English language is very impressive!
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New post 11 Jul 2019, 04:51
Can someone please explain , what is wrong with option A ?
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New post 12 Jul 2019, 00:34
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.


(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower

This is a parallelism concept question, So Correct answer is most rapidly .....................more slowly

So eliminate A,D,E

In D and E, By using "and" means both side should be parallel but interior and most rapidly WRONG. we need a comma before and, same issue with E.

Between B and C ,

B say Interior, which travel most rapidly: It means interior which is traveling which is wrong. So correct answer is C.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2019, 01:20
In C, isn't the "traveling most rapidly" modifies the subject of preceding which is geologists?
I don't know how to figure out that the subject in this case is seismic waves. Can anyone help?
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New post 18 Jul 2019, 06:51
I got this question wrong and I hope someone can explain why the answer is (c).
So according to e-gmat (article link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/usage-of-ver ... 35220.html), if the verb-ing modifier appears after a clause and is preceded by a comma, then it modifies the entire preceding clause.
If this is true, shouldn't "traveling most rapidly through... slowly" in (c) should modify the clause "geologist use a network... around its interior"?
And if so, (c) doesn't make sense as a correct answer. I'm really confused, any help will be appreciated, thanks!
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New post 23 Jul 2019, 20:40
sayantanc2k wrote:
rukna wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:

A present participle modifier refers to the subject of the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause.

In this case the clause " that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior" is the preceding clause, and hence the present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." refers to the subject "that" of the previous clause; the pronoun "that" here is used to replace "waves".

Consider that the entire present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." is nested within the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks."

You are right in thinking that there could be a bit of ambiguity since the present participle clause "travelling...." could refer to "Geologists", if one considers that it is outside the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks." However in that case we would have to choose E as the correct answer, which has a more severe problem as follows:

E is wrong because two clauses are joined just with "and" not with comma + "and".

Wrong: I play and I sing
Right: I play, and I sing
Right: I play and sing.

Similarly,
Wrong: that originate and ricochet and that travel
Right: that originate and ricochet, and that travel
Right: that originate, ricochet and travel

Moreover option E does not depict the bearing between ricocheting and travelling and considers them as two different activities.


Thanks, that was useful.
I never considered comma as main decision point until now. Will note this point.


Nonetheless, in a real GMAT question I have never come across an answer being eliminated ONLY because of punctuation issues.


You are right about the answer, according to GMAT, but you are wrong about the reasoning.

"I play and I sing" is as correct as "I play, and I sing."

Adding a comma before using a conjunction to separate two independent clauses is not necessary; that's just a rule some, but not all, writing guides have adopted. Hence, I don't think the GMAT would test you on this.

But even if you had to add a comma before a conjunction separating two independent clauses - even if that was the rule - it still would not apply here. In answer choice E, there's not two independent clauses. That _______ is not an independent clause. For example, "I hate that you don't understand this and that you don't even ask questions during class" is correctly written. Adding a comma would be incorrect. A clause starting with "that" followed by the subject of the sentence can never stand on its own, and thus it is never an independent clause.

Here though, there might be wordy to say that originate and ricochet and that travels. There's the double use of and in the sentence. Thats's wordy[,] and I think that is why E is not the correct answer.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2019, 09:38
hammypancakey wrote:
I got this question wrong and I hope someone can explain why the answer is (c).
So according to e-gmat (article link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/usage-of-ver ... 35220.html), if the verb-ing modifier appears after a clause and is preceded by a comma, then it modifies the entire preceding clause.
If this is true, shouldn't "traveling most rapidly through... slowly" in (c) should modify the clause "geologist use a network... around its interior"?
And if so, (c) doesn't make sense as a correct answer. I'm really confused, any help will be appreciated, thanks!

Your understanding of how VERB-ing modifiers operate when they follow CLAUSE + COMMA is correct, but in this case, you've got the wrong clause. Take another look at the relevant portion:

    "...geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions..."

The clause that precedes "traveling" is "that [waves] originate in the earth's crust and ricochet..." It makes perfect sense for "traveling most rapidly through cold dense regions," to provide additional context about what the waves are doing when they're ricocheting around, so (C) is fine.

The takeaway: when you see COMMA + VERB-ing, it's possible there will be multiple preceding clauses. Make sure you're evaluating the correct one.

I hope that helps!
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New post 24 Aug 2019, 06:41
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For option C, I eliminated it because I thought the verb-ing modifies geologists. Usually on GMAT comma + verb-ing modifier (Gerund I think its called) modifies the subject of the sentence. Can you please shed a light on this issue. Why "traveling" modifies waves?

More importantly - if we are presented with the main clause and substantive clause, does comma + verb-ing modifies the closest clause or the clause that MAKES sense with it?

Substantitive + main, verb-ing. Can here verb-ing modify substantitative clause noun if it makes sense to modify it or it has to modify main noun?
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New post 24 Aug 2019, 22:40
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Brego7 wrote:
the clause that MAKES sense with it?

Hi Brego7, this is the position I would go with, though the nearest clause would be a preference.

In light of this, option C in the sentence under consideration is absolutely fine, since the nearest clause is:

that (seismic waves) originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior

So, the participial phrase (traveling most rapidly through...) is correctly modifying the subject (seismic waves) of the nearest preceding clause.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2019, 06:49
sayantanc2k wrote:
rukna wrote:
I was stuck b/w C and E.

In C, I thought that there is ambiguity on who is travelling => the waves or geologists. So, I thought that was wrong.
Can someone explain why is this right then.


A present participle modifier refers to the subject of the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause.

In this case the clause " that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior" is the preceding clause, and hence the present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." refers to the subject "that" of the previous clause; the pronoun "that" here is used to replace "waves".

Consider that the entire present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." is nested within the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks."

You are right in thinking that there could be a bit of ambiguity since the present participle clause "travelling...." could refer to "Geologists", if one considers that it is outside the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks." However in that case we would have to choose E as the correct answer, which has a more severe problem as follows:

E is wrong because two clauses are joined just with "and" not with comma + "and".

Wrong: I play and I sing
Right: I play, and I sing
Right: I play and sing.

Similarly,
Wrong: that originate and ricochet and that travel
Right: that originate and ricochet, and that travel
Right: that originate, ricochet and travel

Moreover option E does not depict the bearing between ricocheting and travelling and considers them as two different activities.


Hi,

I do not think that Option E is incorrect because of the absence of comma. Consider this correct official sentence:

In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work that took him seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.


I do not believe Option E is grammatically incorrect. It's just not as good as the other options because
1) It alters the meaning by considering ricochet and travel as separate actions
2) It does not use the "more parallel" version of slower in this case i.e slowly.
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New post 01 Dec 2019, 04:45
so from this question can I infer that ambiguity in verb-ing's reference is allowed,

also verb-ed and which function same when used after the clause.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2019, 03:35
anand0811 wrote:
so from this question can I infer that ambiguity in verb-ing's reference is allowed

Hi Anand, such participial phrases (that are used towards the end of a sentence/clause and are preceded by a comma) modify the subject of the preceding clause.

In option C, participial phrase traveling most rapidly.. correctly modifies seismic waves, the subject of the preceding clause.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses participial phrases, their application and examples in significant detail. If you or someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2019, 08:44
Construction: Modifier, main clause, modifier
A) Rapidly(Adverb) and slower(verb) not parallel.
B) Which modifying interior is incorrect.
C) (A present participle modifier refers to the subject of the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause.)- Correct

D) Same as A
E) Same as A
Is my reasoning enough to eliminate A B D E?
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